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Experiential Learning

At Drake Law School, we don’t just teach the theory of law. We put the law in action. Drake Law students have endless opportunities to gain hands-on, practical experience.

For more than 150 years, Drake Law School has established a strong tradition of practical training. That's why Drake has consistently been named a Best Law School for Practical Training by National Jurist's preLaw Magazine.

First-Year Trial Practicum

Each year, Drake’s one-of-a-kind First-Year Trial Practicum shifts 1L classes to the on-campus courtroom for a week, enabling students to view an actual state or federal trial. The trial practicum dissects every phase of a trial—from jury selection to verdict—and includes small group discussions and debriefings with the attorneys, jurors, and judge.

Learn more about the First-Year Trial Practicum.

Classroom Learning

Practical experience is a cornerstone of Drake Law coursework. One-hundred percent of our faculty have practiced law, and they bring their expertise into the classroom.

Learn more about Drake Law faculty.

Drake Legal Clinic

The Drake Legal Clinic operates as a real law firm with office space to meet with clients. Gain hands-on experience in one of the following clinical programs: Children’s Rights Clinic, Criminal Defense Clinic and Advanced Criminal Defense Clinic, General Civil Practice Clinic and Advanced General Civil Practice Clinic, Entrepreneurial/Transactional Clinic, Refugee Clinic, and Wrongful Convictions Clinic.

Learn more about the Drake Legal Clinic.

Competition Teams

Drake Law School’s moot court and mock trial teams consistently earn regional and national titles. Drake's National Moot Court team has advanced to the national competition 22 times in the past 28 years. In 2020, the team placed 3rd in the nation and team members were recognized as top oralists in the competition. Drake's Environmental Moot Court Team has won "Best Brief" honors twice in the last three years in national competition. In 2018, Drake was the national champion of the ABA Law Student Division Arbitration Competition. 

Drake also offers intra-school competitions to help students hone their trial advocacy skills. The Iowa Court of Appeals and the Iowa Supreme Court judge the final round of two of these competitions.

Learn more about Drake's competition teams.


Located just down the road from the state capitol and courts, Drake offers unique internships that provide real-world experience. As the only law school in Des Moines, Drake Law students have a competitive advantage to these opportunities.

The proof is in our success. Thomas Tolbert (Class of 2017) tried six felony jury trials as a 3L student. Austin Mouw (Class of 2015) won two jury trials and a case before the Iowa Supreme Court before he graduated.

Learn more about internships.


For more information, contact the Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 515-271-2782 or

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